The European Union has formally launched an investigation into surging Chinese textile sales, a move that could lead the EU to limit those imports.

European Commission members approved the investigationThursday, amid growing concerns by EU members that Chinese textile imports have flooded European markets since a worldwide quota system expired January 1.

Officials say the investigation can last up to 60 days - and after that period limits could then be imposed.

France, however, is calling for the EU to bypass the investigation and instead take emergency actions to limit the quantity of imports.

China has criticized the EU move, warning it could have a negative impact on relations.

The United States is also looking into the impact that increased Chinese textile imports is having on its textile producers.

Some information for this report provided by Reuters and AP.